When we see that each person, each circumstance abides in its own state, what it might offer to us is no longer the most important thing. So in our taking care of the earth, we can move beyond doing it because we need to for our own benefit. That view is still not regarding the earth as sacred unto itself. It’s not because of what you do for me that I should see you and regard you as a fully free and complete human being abiding in your own dharma state, but simply because you are. And if I don’t or can’t yet see that, my vow is to practice so I can see it. My vow is to see how you are interdependent with everything. That includes me. You and I are interdependent. That means, even if I don’t yet understand how, that in your arising I come into being. In your cessation, I cease to be. When you are disregarded, my humanity is injured. When you are liberated, my happiness is boundless. Thus on an everyday level, we have a deep and vested interest in each other.

Perhaps this is the great imperative of our present time. Through practice we can discover how to allow the mind to find its natural equality. When it ceases to create divisions and boundaries, then the world is without divisions and boundaries. Going further, we see that practice has not changed this world one inch. It doesn’t help make highs and lows equal; it shows us their basic equality that has been present all along. Then we can appreciate and enjoy the tall mountain as tall, and the low mountain as low.

The True Dharma Eye is a complete, modern English translation of Master Dogen’s Three Hundred Koan Shobogenzo translated by Kazuaki Tanahashi and John Daido Loori with Daido Loori’s commentary, capping verse and footnotes.